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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2013

Them & Us

Tough at the top

Most workers given a P45 are lucky to get a week's statutory redundancy pay for every year employed. But not if you're an MP who was given the elbow in the last cabinet reshuffle.

All departing ministers are entitled to three months' severance pay if they do not get another cabinet post within three weeks.

This means that each Tory and Lib Dem MP involved will get up to 17,000 tax free, on top of their parliamentary salary; plus expenses, plus outside consultancy fees, plus...

Creative accountancy

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt's attempt to blame 'health tourism' for wrecking the National Health Service (NHS) instead of the government's cuts and privatisation policies has hit the rocks.

According to research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of York, 18 NHS Trusts generated 42 million of income in 2010 from overseas patients.

So much then for Hunt's much publicised claim that 'health tourists' are costing the NHS 1.4 billion.

As the Socialist (issue 784) pointed out, Hunt's real aim is to establish a (massively expensive) system of charging in the NHS that will later be applied to us all.

Filthy rich? Pay up!

The Tories love sending vans round London telling immigrants to go home. Why don't they send vans round Belgravia and the City telling the rich to pay their taxes - 120 billion every year is dodged? They could say: "Are you filthy rich? Pay your taxes or face arrest!"

Thanks to Ken Douglas

Double Dutch

Who would order a "Dutch Sandwich" or a "Double Irish"? Any number of giant multinational companies, as they are the pub grub names describing the tax avoidance scams of corporations.

These tax avoidance scams involve channelling mega-profits through Irish or Netherlands registered companies to zero corporate tax havens like Bermuda.

Despite all the hype from US President Obama and UK Prime Minister Cameron at June's G8 Summit about 'getting tough' on tax avoidance, these gaping loopholes will remain open after lobbying by corporations.

Meanwhile the UK government, again after intensive corporate lobbying, will allow high street names like BHS, Maplin, Pret, etc, to avoid 500 million in taxes by using the "quoted Eurobond exemption" loophole.

Payments by results

The banks who 'advised' the government on the bargain basement sell-off of Royal Mail were paid handsomely. And then paid again. And again.

Firstly they received 17 million in fees for their advice. They were also allocated 13 million shares.

These shares have since shown a profit of 29 million as the share price rose by over two-thirds to 555p. Some people might wonder in whose interest these advisers were advising?

Automatic care

Are 15-minute care visits to elderly people long enough? The short answer is, of course, no. But Worcestershire county council are to consider ending such visits and replacing them with "assistive technology".

Telehealth systems will monitor vital signs (if you can remember how to use them or where you put the instructions), and are linked to a call alarm.

In addition, telecare will remind you to take your medication or detects when you fall, by which time you have already fallen over. Forget Big Society, meet Big Technology

Thanks to Pete McNally

What we did

On the buses

While doing a 'join the socialists' stall in Leytonstone, east London, a bus driver beckoned me onto the bus while it was stopped at traffic lights.

He clearly wanted one of our leaflets, explaining why people should join the Socialist Party, so I stepped onto the bus and gave him one.

As I turned to get off he said "give them to everyone on the bus"! So I leafleted the bottom deck and told everyone that the driver wanted them to have the leaflet. Everyone took them and one person said he was already a supporter.

Sarah Wrack, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 30 October 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Striking back!

Trade unions must learn lessons from Grangemouth setback

Ongoing US spying row reveals new tensions between imperialist powers

Stop rip-off energy prices

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: "Rio, a showcase for the world"

Ireland: Victimising the vulnerable

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Zero-hour contracts can be beaten!

Mental health services - fighting privatisation in Salford

Building the fightback - building the Socialist Party

Support the Socialism 2013 appeal

Socialist Party feature

20 years of privatised train robbery

Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers: no national action this term

University workers fight back

Probation workers strike against privatisation

No offshoring Shared Services!

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Bail out hospitals, not bankers!

Waltham Forest Unison Health meeting

Campaign launched against downbanding in Swindon

Attacks on NHS pay will damage services

Readers' reviews and comments

Sexism in the music industry exposed

TV Review: Brand new revolution?


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